Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Bitalzadeh - Wesley So

Round 9
Corus 2009
Wijk Aan Zee


Welcome to the round 9 live comments of Corus 2009 on! Today's games will be commented by GM Dimitrov and our special guest commentator at the Chessdom studio - GM Christian Bauer (2610). After I have commented about a dozen games of Magnus Carlsen in a row, one may think ' GM Dimitrov obviously has a life-long contract of some kind with the Norwegian Chess Federation '. To disperse such suspicions / :) /, as the votes of the audience determine the choice, today I'll be following for you the young Filipino star Wesley So. If you have other favorites for featured games then the solution is simple - just vote! And stay tuned for today's game at 13.30 CET.

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 Very ambitious move.

3.g3 ( I consider 3.d4 to be the only chance for White to get opening advantage.)

3... Nc6 4.Bg2 Bg7 In the symmetrical lines of English Opening - where I personally have more than a hundred tournament games with both colors - Knights are not placed well on 'f3' - or 'f6' respectively. There they restrict the area of effect of the fianccetoed Bishop and only are of use to prepare d2-d4, which in most situations is no great achievement.

5.Nc3 a6 In such positions Black is in no hurry to castle. Much more important is who will be able first to start active play on the queenside. (5... b6 neutralizing Bg2 is an reliable option.)

6.O-O Rb8 7.d3 d6 ( The direct 7... b5 would let a nasty surprise: 8.cxb5 axb5 9.Be3 and all of a sudden Black has it hard to protect its central squares.)

8.Bg5 b5 Though generally the chess programs would evaluate such position as about equal or even slightly favorable foe White, in fact Black has every chance the establish a long lasting advantage as his pieces are better positioned in the long run.

9.Qc1 Bg4 10.Rb1 Qd7 Both payers develop their pieces in a similar fashion but So managed to gain space on the queenside by delaying his kingside.

11.b3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Nd4 So uses the position of Qe2 - unprotected 'e2' - to spoil White pawn structure.

13.Ne4 Nxf3+ 14.exf3 f5 It's time to deprive that Knight of its central outposts.

15.Nc3 b4 16.Nd5 Retreating on 'e2' would not be sufficient to equalize but now Bg5 is suddenly endangered.

16... e6 17.Re1 Kf7 18.Nf4 h6 Sentencing the Night to an exile on 'h3' is nasty.

19.Nxe6 Re8 Getting some material advantage.

20.Nd8+ Rxd8 21.Bxd8 Qxd8 22.a3 Without making obvious mistakes, Bitalzadeh got in a very bad situation.

22... a5 23.axb4 axb4 There is no way to prevent Ng8-e7-c6-d4 which will seal Black advantage. Generally Rook + pawn are almost enough compensation for 2 minor pieces. Well, is every of this pieces is stronger than a Rook because of position specifics then things are different.

24.Qe3 Qd7 25.f4 Bc3 26.Re2 Nf6 The Filipino is in no hurry, he plans to control the 'e' file first.

27.Qf3 Qa7 28.Rc1 (28.Qc6 preserving the Queens offers more resistance.)

28... Qa8 29.Kg2 Qxf3+ 30.Kxf3 Ra8 Without Queens the light squares are no longer vulnerable and for a player of So's class the rest should be a piece of cake.

31.h3 h5 32.Rb1 Ra3 33.Rc2 d5 Both opponents are well aware of the situation on the board and moves are made in rapid succession.

34.cxd5 Nxd5 35.g4 Ne7 36.gxh5 gxh5 There is no way to defend 'b3' if attacked by Nd4/Na5. White resigned. So won the game with deceptive ease. His great talent just shoes through and predicting him bright chess career won't be any risk at all. 0-1

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